Thursday, May 28, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: May 29th - 31st, 2015

DarkMatter: Anomaly, Photo by Bonnie Stanley
Friday, May 29th

The Dinner Party Project presents Food + Drink + Film, a free potluck dinner at The Lodge, this Friday at 6:30pm. Sign up to bring a dish and get ready for Jurassic Park. Cocktails and beer available for purchase. 

Twelve21 Gallery invites you to the opening reception of Kenji Nakayama's cheeky The Quick Brown Fox exhibit, this Friday from 6:00 to 9:00pm; free. 

Snap! Orlando presents Father Figure, one of the last events of this month's YOU ARE HERE series. The exhibit opens this Friday at 8:00pm at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. 

Movieola is back this weekend with a free outdoor showing of Brave at Lake Eola. BYOBlanket; food available for purchase; event begins at 6:00pm with a movie start time of 8:00pm. 

The Social presents a soulful evening with Kaleigh Baker, Jonnie Morgan Band, The Groove Orient, and Liquid Spiral, this Friday at 8:00pm; tickets are $10. 

Saturday, May 30th

DarkMatter: Anomaly reminds me of something Stefon from SNL might recommend: pay $20 and find out the day of when and where this black-light, body-painting, trance party / art exhibit takes place. Food and drinks are included, LSD is not.

All of your favorite Orlando makers are getting together at the Spring into Summer Pop Up Shop this Saturday from noon to 4:00pm at West Elm.

Stretching the cultures of southern and southeastern Asia, the Asian Cultural Festival is happening this Saturday from 11:00am to 4:00pm at Fashion Square Mall. This free event includes entertainment, arts, and food for purchase.

This quarter's Functionally Literate reading series features readings and book signings by Shane Hinton (who is celebrating the release of his new book Pinkies), author Jeff Parker, and poet Erica Dawson. What's a reading series and why is it traveling the state? Check out our interview! The event is at 1300 Brookhaven (7:00pm) with an after-party at Lil Indies. 

Sunday, May 31st

End your weekend at the Orlando Farmers Market from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Not-hungover people can also enjoy Yoga in Lake Eola Park at 11:00am. 

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

An Orlando Reading Series Hits the Road: 8 Questions with Burrow Press Publisher Ryan Rivas

Photo by Tina Craig
Now in its third year, Orlando-based Burrow Press’ Functionally Literate Reading Series is expanding. From May 28th through the 31st, Functionally Literate will celebrate the release of Shane Hinton’s debut story collection, PINKIES, with a four-stop Florida book tour. The Orlando stop is happening this Saturday, May 30th, at the 1300 Brookhaven warehouse and features readings and signing by Hinton along with author Jeff Parker and poet Erica Dawson.

To get the crowd riled up, publisher of Burrow Press, Ryan Rivas, shares some insight into the gritty underbelly of what it takes to put on a statewide book tour: 

1. What part of the tour are you most excited about?  

I'm going to be honest and say the breweries. We're going to be real close to Aardwolf (in Jax), Green Bench and Cycle (in St. Pete), and Funky Buddha (in Ft. Lauderdale). Our Orlando afterparty is going to be cocktail focused, but if Ten10 were open we'd be drinking there. As I'm typing I'm actually getting less and less excited and more and more afraid for my liver.

2. What was your biggest hesitation when you started planning this tour?

My hesitation was that no one would show up in other cities. But this tour actually works because there are hustlin' lit lovers in the other cities who are really taking on the burden of promotion and rallying people. So we've partnered with Abridged Reading Series in Jax, Wordier Than Thou in St. Pete, and Sunday Salon in Ft. Lauderdale. The folks who run those series are the heroes of the tour.

3. Will you be driving a refurbished VW mini-van with shag carpet? 

That would be creepy and awesome, but no. We're taking an '06 Prius. 

4. Please quantify percentages of each you expect on this tour: Sex, drugs, contemporary American short fiction.  

0% sex (we're all married dude!); 20% drugs; 20% fiction; 20% silver alerts; 20% bromance; and 20% Instagramming.

5. Like you wrote in a recent article on LitHub, there is a LOT going on in the Orlando literary community right now. What advice would you have for aspiring writers who are looking to be part of it?  

I like to think that being a part of the community is as simple as coming out to events (your presence in itself is a show of interest, if not support). Once you're there, introduce yourself to people. That's easier said than done, especially if you're a fairly introverted or anxious person, but worth it in the long run because for many writers I think being plugged in to a community can be a helpful balance to the isolation of the writing life. That might not be true in other cities, but Orlando is fairly non-competitive, and I've seen a lot of people go out of their way to welcome newcomers, no matter their resumé.

6. What advice do you have for book-hungry lit consumers looking for something fresh?

Go to an independent bookstore and talk to the staff. That's one of the main reasons indie bookstores exist. They exist for you, dear book-hungry lit consumer looking for something fresh.

7. Say I'm a lit-groupie following the Functionally Literate Statewide Tour, but I get sick when I read in the car. How should I pass the time?

Audiobooks are a great solution. Or literary podcasts like The Drunken Odyssey with John King, which is made right here in Orlando. 

8. What's your favorite literary-themed cocktail? 

A while back me, Func Lit host Jared Silvia, and his wife Lesley came up with a pretty ridiculous and extensive list. Some of them will be available at the Orlando afterparty at Lil Indies. My favorite among them is probably "The Blood & Sand by Cormac McCarthy," which consists of scotch, blood, and sand.You can find a whole list here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: May 21st - 24th, 2015

Snap! Orlando Presents YOUR ARE HERE, through 5/31
Weekend Events

It's the last weekend of Orlando Fringe! Check out the schedule for a slew of unique shows, concerts, and events. Most plays are $11, but a $9 button is required; most outdoor events are free. 

Central Florida's BBQ Blowout is this Friday (6:00-9:00pm) and Saturday (10:00am-6:00pm) at the Oviedo Mall. Don't be fooled by their logo (a cartoon chicken lighting some TNT strapped to a pig's back), this is a serious qualifying event for four other foodie competitions. 

Snap! Orlando's month-long YOU ARE HERE event features seven different events this Thursday through Sunday. This weekend marks the last week of YOU ARE HERE, so don't miss the great lineup of exhibits happening all over Orlando. 

Thursday, May 21st

Third Thursdays Orlando is this week, with four events: Gallery Hop, Taste of Church Street, Tech Meetup, and Business Networking. (Event times vary between 5:00pm and 10:00pm.)

Speaking of, three events from YOU ARE HERE are happening during Third Thursdays downtown: a Student Competition Exhibit, Call for Entry winners exhibit reception, and the Yuri Maiorov exhibit opening reception.

Literary readings, performance art, and mixed media art convene at Literocalypse 14 this Thursday at 9:00pm. (Side note: I'm officially too old to go to an event that starts at 9:00 on a weeknight.)

Friday, May 22nd 

It's time for another Wine & Sign Friday at BookmarkIt. This week's local author tapped to help celebrate National Short Story Month is Cate McGowan, author of True Places Never Are. Stop by BookmarkIt from 6:00 to 8:00pm for a chat with the author, a signed book, and some free wine.

Homegrown: Orlando Edition is a Local Hip-Hop Showcase happening at Backbooth this Friday at 8:00pm; doors at 7:00pm / tickets are $5.  

Saturday, May 23rd

This Saturday, find a carefully curated selection of vintage and hand-made garments and home decor (i.e. things with birds on them) at the Brookhaven Market from noon to 5:00pm.

Mike's Comics teams up with the Alafaya Branch library to bring you Superhero Saturday from 11:00am to 1:00pm with free comic books, pizza, and other activities.

Don't miss Orlando Predators vs. Portland Thunder this Saturday at 7:00pm; tickets start at $15. 

Sunday, May 24th

Lazy Afternoon Sundays with Rich Medina brings some of the best-curated tunes in Orlando and it's happening again this Sunday at 5:00pm at The Patio; tickets are $10.

The Lions are at it again this Sunday as they face the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:00pm. Catch the game at an Orlando City Watch Party, like the one at Harp & Celt. 

What are your Memorial Day weekend plans? Leave a comment!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: May 15th - 17th, 2015

Weekend Events

You know it's happening. You've seen thespians wandering around Lockhaven Park, you've seen people with crazy hair pop up in your news feed... It's time for Orlando Fringe!! How do you Fringe? Well, first you comb through the schedule of awesome, local, crazy shows. The cost of attending the shows varies, but the schedule is sortable by price, venue, name, and age restrictions (woohoo!). A few notes: You need to buy a Fringe button and a ticket if you want to go to a show. Oh, and don't waste time parking--there's a fabulous bike valet throughout the festival! Most shows under $20.

Friday, May 15th

Want to go to a ballet on a budget? Orlando Ballet School's Stars of Tomorrow show is happening at the Bob Carr for $20.50. (I know, it's 50 cents higher than our limit...) We've got one of the best ballet schools in the country and you'll see the dancers giving their all, including one of the top 10 male dancers in the world, Austen Acevedo.

Snap! Orlando's 'YOU ARE HERE' continues with the SPE Combined Caucus Exhibition at UCF Art Gallery from 6:00 to 8:00pm featuring the work of 40 photographers from around the country. With over 50 images on view from members of the LGBT, Multi-Cultural, and Women’s caucuses, you'll be treated to social, political, personal and aesthetic theme and explorations. Free.

Saturday, May 16th

Didja hear? We're partnering with Harlow, Winter Park's newest resale boutique, to host a pop-up shop at their Mimosa Open House from 10:00am to 2:00pm this Saturday. We've got free mimosas and sweet treats along with our new and classic men's and women's tees and tanks.

Instagramers and photogs of Orlando: You are being summoned for a bike ride that will leave your phone screaming for mercy, "Not Enough Storage!" But you won't listen. Join the @IGERS_Orlando moderators on a journey to the best photo destinations in the city for culture: Instagram the City. Saturday from 9:00am to 2:00pm, $15 w/bike, $20 to rent one, $25 if you pay on Saturday.

How about watching a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark that was filmed, directed, and produced over a seven-year period by three Mississippi teenagers and that Steven Spielberg has called "an inspiration." Bring your own food, drinks, and seating for a night of crazy movies and camaraderie at Creative Coterie's Summer Movie Series: Raiders of the Lost Ark - The Adaptation.

Sunday, May 17th

Celebrate 31 years of Ghostbusters with Oblivion Taproom's Ghostbuster Brunch! The brunch will feature tons of weirdly intriguing themed food and drink specials and, of course, Ghostbusters movies playing on Oblivion's screens. Yup, Yup, and more Yup.

Grab your kilt and head over to The Thirsty Topher for Highland Games 2.0. Food trucks, contests, men in kilts, and a winner to be crowned at the end (men's and women's divisions). Come on down and have some fun throwing a few kegs and lifting a few steins!

Push your season-ticket-wielding friend down the stairs and claim your rightful spot at Orlando City Soccer's match against the LA Galaxy. Your friend's to quick for that? Then head over to The Harp & Kelt or Redlight Redlight to watch the game, this Saturday at 5:00pm.

It's time for Southern Fried Sunday again! $7 entrance gets you BBQ dinner, some great sets at Will's, and a free after show at Lil Indies; 5:30pm.

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: May 8th - 10th, 2015

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, showing Sunday at Stardust
Weekend Events

The International Free Thought Film Festival is this weekend with shorts, feature length films, Q&As, and other events this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Gallery at Avalon Island. Tickets start at $10. 

Friday, May 8th

Happy Birthday, Orlando Conductor Crawl! Join the gang this Friday from 6:00 to 10:00pm on a journey from Downtown Orlando to Winter Park and back. Tickets start at $5.

This Friday kicks off the first round of the Rookie Rumble Show at SAK Comedy Lab, where teams of three will be judged on their improve abilities; tickets are $5 at the door.

The Lions take on the New England Revolution this Friday at 8:00pm. In case you didn't snag tickets, cool places to watch the game include The Celt, Redlight Redlight, Wall Street Plaza, and The Hammered Lamb. Where are you watching the game? 

Saturday, May 9th

The Dr. Phillips Center features Motown icon Thomas McClary of Commodores fame at a free outdoor concert this Saturday at 4:00pm in the Seneff Arts Plaza.

This weekend is Second Saturdays in Sanford, featuring two stages of live music (a main stage and an acoustic stage) with nine different acts throughout the night. Tickets are $5; food and drink specials at the event. During the day, stop by Taste of Sanford at Fort Mellon Park from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Snap! Orlando presents All About Warhol at the Orlando Museum of Art this Saturday from 5:00 to 7:00pm. This is a free event, but RSVP here to save your spot.

If you're in the mood for a summer indoor-outdoor dance party this weekend, be sure to check out Body//Talk with XYZA this Saturday form 10:00pm until late in the Milk District; $7 at the door. 

Sunday, May 10th

Come meet a lonely Iranian vampire haunting people in a ghost town at the Sunday night showing of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, 8:00pm, Stardust Video & Coffee.

What gets you less attention than having a birthday close to Christmas? Having a birthday on Mother's Day, that's what. But, since it only happens every few years, I'll put my grudges aside and share a few Mother's Day events happening this weekend in Orlando:
  • Explore the gardens, tour the historic house, and enjoy lunch with your mom. It's all happening at Mother's Day at Leu Gardens; 11:00am - 3:00pm; $19. 
  • Happy Mother's Day at Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux Cafe is offering a free glass of wine/mimosa/sangria for your birth-giver. 
  • Take your mom to the Free Family Day at the Mennello Museum of American Art from 11:00 to 3:30pm. (I'm sure they'll also let you in without a mom...) 

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: May 1st - 3rd, 2015

Weekend Events

Cinco de Mayo is next Tuesday, but you can get a head start this weekend at the Sort of Cinco Block Party, happening this Saturday, and the Sunday Funday Cinco Style this Sunday. 

Friday, May 1st

This Friday at 8:00pm, Movieola is back with a free showing of Big Hero 6 at Lake Eola Park. The event starts at 6:00pm with activities and food for purchase. Don't forget your chairs and blankets!

The FAVO Art Show and Market is back this Friday (5:00 to 9:00pm) and Saturday (noon to 5:00pm) with permanent studios and galleries, guest artists, food trucks, and activities. 

Saturday, May 2nd 

Don't miss Free Comic Book Day at A Comic Shop from 9:00am until late. Andy by "free comic book" they actually mean ten free comic books, plus free character sketches and prizes. 

This edition of Date Night Movie at Leu Gardens is showing If I Stay at 8:30pm. The gardens open at 6:00pm, $6 for adults, $3 for kids, and free for members. Just down the road, Loch Haven Park will be showing Monty Python and the Holy Grail at 7:00pm as part of Free Movie Night in the Park.

Snap! Orlando presents Life in Real Time this Friday at 7:00pm (no cover, but be sure to RSVP). The works explore the "human condition in public places" and is part of the city-wide You Are Here series of events. 

Greetings from Orlando is Barley & Vine's first Saturdays event. Come out and enjoy the smooth sounds of funk, soul, and downtempo while sipping on one of 25 beers on tap. 

College Park residents might hate density, but boy do they love to dance! Dancing on the Drive is happening this Saturday from 6:00 to 10:00pm. Entry is $5, kids are free. 

Sunday, May 3rd

The aptly named Uncomfortable Brunch will be showing Wetlands, proving that girls can be just as gross as guys. (Just kidding, we already knew that.) Doors open at noon with the movie starting around 12:30pm. Tickets are $10 and include brunch; 18+. 

Monday is May the Fourth, so get warmed up by dressing up in Star Wars costume and attending May the Fourth Be with You Eve Sip + Stroll at Redlight Redlight this Sunday. Likewise, check out Star Wars Party at Oblivion Taproom. 

Roller Derby Alert: Straight Jackettes vs. Molly Rogers Rollergirls is happening this Sunday at 4:30pm. Tickets are $8; food and beer available at the snack bar. 

Get your summer reading off to a solid start at the Locally Grown Words Summer Book Fair this Sunday from noon to 4:00pm, presenting over 40 local authors from a variety of genres. 

What events did we miss? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In Photos: Urban Orlando by Ahmed Hashim

Elements of the Mills50 District | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

"I appreciate people who see another side of Orlando through my lens," says Ahmed Hashim, an Orlando-based photographer documenting Orlando as an evolving urban environment. "I like exploring the walkable areas in town where the locals live, work, eat, and play."

Hashim's work is influenced by the everyday life of people living in their city. "I'm drawn to the human element in urban settings with a focus on mood, expression, colors, geometry, patterns, and dramatic light." You'll usually find him in the diverse neighborhoods and towns that make up the central Orlando area, including Downtown, Winter Park, and College Park, and once in a while even in the tourist areas--"for a different flavor."

That built diversity is reflected in Orlando's photographers. "Orlando is a mixed bag of different genres and flavors. It’s as diverse as its local community." And that variety of lifestyles and cultures is growing more and more evident as locals and visitors continue to search for the "other" or "real" Orlando. "I like how the City of Orlando is trying to define its identity for 'The City Beautiful' and brainstorm about what else it has to offer."

Downtown Orlando at Dusk | Ahmed Hashim | 2013

Turning Heads at the Corner | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

La Belle | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

Spiral Courtyard | Ahmed Hashim | 2015
Fishing the Econ River | Ahmed Hashim | 2014
Crossing Pine and Orange | Ahmed Hashim | 

Last Delivery of the Day | Ahmed Hashim | 2014
7-Eleven Lights the Corner | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

Flocking Birds | Ahmed Hashim | 2012

Waiting in Style | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

Undergoing Change | Ahmed Hashim | 2013
Sundays in Downtown | Ahmed Hashim | 2014
Lunch Hour | Ahmed Hashim | 2012

Strolling by an Art Wall | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

March Madness | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

Setting the Blue Velvet Rope | Ahmed Hashim | 2014

Ahmed Hashim is a street photographer based in Orlando, Florida. His creative work is focused on cities, people, cars, and buildings. When he's not behind the lens, he's designing products that bridge the connections between people, business, and technology. You can connect with Ahmed on LinkedIn and follow his photography on his Photoblog, Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook.